One Lesson You Can Learn From Jordan Spieth to Be Successful

Jordan Spieth is on the verge of making golf history. At just the ripe age of 24, Spieth has won three legs of the career Grand Slam (winning all 4 professional golf majors).

What’s most interesting about Spieth is he doesn’t look physically dominating like other sporting greats; Lebron James, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, or Michael Phelps. Rather he uses his mind as an enormous competitive advantage as can you in business and leadership. This was on full display just a couple weeks ago when he won his third major by going wire-to-wire to win the British Open. If you didn’t tune in, Spieth started the final round with a three-shot lead, only to find himself trailing Matt Kucher by one shot with five holes to play. What happened over the last five holes is what Johnny Miller (one of the game’s all time greats) called it, “the greatest finish, I have ever seen in championship golf.”

Spieth can only be compared to two players this early in his career; Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. While he was quick to put those comparisons to bed during his post tournament interview, he did share a great story after he won.

Just a week prior to the event, Spieth shared a picture on instagram of him arm and arm with some of the best athletes to play their respective sports; among them Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps.

During a difficult stretch during the final round where it appeared Spieth was going to give away the tournament, his caddy Michael Greller said “Do you remember that group you were with in Cabo last week? You belong in that group.” That comment clearly stuck with Spieth throughout the rest of the round because in the press conference he said something every person needs to hear:

“I think just a little bit of belief that you are, you know. Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps are the greatest to ever do what they did, and I’m not. But if you believe that you are, then you’re almost as good as being that. And it’s so hard in that situation to believe that, but just having just the slightest bit of belief in it makes you so confident.”

Why is Spieth’s advice so incredible?

This world we live in will beat you up. There is always someone waiting, even expecting you to make a mistake or fail. Having self belief and confidence in yourself is paramount to overcoming obstacles and disappointments in order to be successful.

Whether you’re like Spieth and have already achieved high levels of success, or you are just starting out, the point is:

If you believe you are, before you are, you drastically improve your odds of becoming it.

If you are struggling in your current role, have a dream for a promotion, or want to improve from a leadership perspective. Take a lesson from Spieth and this week’s Follow My Lead Podcast Guest Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory:

“If Not You, Then Who?”

A version of this article originally appeared on

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and host of the Follow My LeadPodcast. He is also the author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader, and is passionate about the development of modern professionals. You can find him on instagram @johngeades.

Why There’s Nothing Worse Than Perfection

“If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.”

This single phrase, that we’ve all heard a million times, became a crutch and impaired my actions. I wasn’t able to get things done because of the fear of not doing it “right”. Projects accumulated on a to-do list. I always found a way to justify to myself why the situation wasn’t right, why I didn’t have the things needed to complete the project, etc. I lived in apartments for years without decorating because “it wasn’t permanent”. When I finally moved into my own house, I didn’t paint because it was “too much of a commitment” without having the room completely decorated.

If Pinterest existed back then, I would have had a million pinned items and nothing to show for it.

Eventually, I stopped dreaming up new ideas. I was crippled by a sense of fear that led to inaction.

Work was a different story. The fear of losing my job was greater than my fear of failure. But the phrase found its way to burrow into my thoughts at work too. “Stay in your safety zone and do what you know works,” it whispered. “You don’t know how to do it perfectly, don’t bother trying.” And when I would almost have the guts to do something, it begged to my senses, “That’s a nice idea, but nothing ever turns out as well as you think.”

Now, I should have preface with letting you know that I’m not an underachiever by any means. From an outsider’s perspective, I looked like a normal, productive person. I made good grades in school and graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University. So, obviously, I got some things done.

But what mattered were the things I was missing out on. The innovation my organization was missing out on because I was too paralyzed by the perfection.

Then one day, our team decided to adopt the 80% rule. The 80% rule states that you get a project 80% there and then you just stop without tinkering or perfecting.

The key to my buy-in of this idea was that everyone agreed and it was made clear to our clients and colleagues, our goal was not perfection, but completion. Perfection became the enemy.

No longer did we waiver over words or punctuation. We focused instead on the execution of ideas and the big picture.

The crippling phrase was removed and I started living every day with a new motto: “Be a CLOSER.” I marked each day as success by what I was able to “close” or complete.

By doing so, amazing things started happening. We started to develop more content. We figured out the direction of our organization, and we kept our clients happy.

If you’re like me and you struggle with perfection over completion, here are 3 things you can do to be a closer:

  1. Set the Expectation of Imperfection. Get buy-in from yourself, your colleagues and customers. Here’s the great thing about getting to 80% that could sell them on the idea: people love to add their two cents a lot more than like to actually do the work. If you can get a project/idea/template to them faster, without the expectation of perfection, then everyone will have a chance to chime in with ample time to meet deadlines.
  2. Rely Less On Tools and More on Yourself. Whenever you blame the tools you have for lack of action, you are just making excuses. If there’s an idea you believe in and your team needs to make it happen, you can find ways to make it happen. I make a lot of videos for work. I am, by no means, an expert animator, but I’ve found ways to use tools that come on every Apple computer to make my videos dynamic and get them done quickly. People don’t care what tools you use, they care about the end result. Find a way!
  1. Create a Constant Reminder of Your Goal. I have this post-it on my computer. Cheesy? Most definitely. But it works as a totem for my team and me. When we get caught up in the “what ifs” or the “it would be cooler if it did…” we ask ourselves if we’re going beyond 80%.

As someone who likes to dream of possibilities, plan, and perfect, it’s been extremely challenging to implement this mind shift, and sometimes I do falter, but the results are worth it. This article is a perfect example of a “close”. It took me one hour to write and run this article by a colleague. It’s now complete (with minor typos to be expected), but I got an article posted today. What about you?

I challenge you to become a closer today. In the comments section, let me know what you closed today.

The Rise in Edu-Marketing and How to be Part of It

How we buy things has changed. Therefore many organizations have had to get creative in ways they provide content to support how buyers buy.  Many marketing and learning and development teams are turning to a new method of content distribution to get attention and ensure knowledge is transferred.  It’s called…

Edu-Marketing. Now, you won’t find this word in the dictionary, but Edu-Marketing is using video as an educational tool for prospective customers or partners. The thought is by providing educational content, your organization or team will also be seen as a leader and the preferred choice when choosing who to do business with.

Here are the top 3 ways to an organization can begin to Edu-Market :

  1. Paid Video-Based Courses. Organizations are more than willing to spend money and send their employees to conferences or instructor-led learning events, so why wouldn’t they pay to educate their employees via online courses? The current online learning market is estimated at $56.2 Billion and supposed to double over the next 2 years.  If your organization has deep expertise in the current changes in mortgage services, why not build a course partners or potential clients could take to get up to speed?
  2. Free content. If trying to monetize intellectual knowledge by selling courses to prospective customers isn’t appealing, how about giving it away? An example of a company that’s doing this exceptionally well is Wistia. Wistia is professional video hosting site with great analytics and video marketing tools. Since Wistia offers products around video hosting for businesses, they give away free educational content in four categories that they believe will help customers or prospective customers maximize their use of Wistia. The amount of time and energy they put into their Edumarketing approach is incredible and it’s paying off. Check out the “learn hub”  page on their website to see edu-marketing in action.
  3. Educational Advertising. Building videos that educate clients about trends, insights, or the future of a particular industry is currently the most popular of the 3 ways to edumarket. Companies go wrong when they build videos that talk about product features and functions rather than educating or adding value to potential buyers.

 ” Courage is being scared to death…. and saddling up anyways.”  – John Wayne.

Saddle up like the Big Duke, and commit to using “edu-marketing” as a new way to share knowledge and create opportunity for yourself or your organization.